Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Sunday, 24 May 2009 13:20 UK

Boy, 13, held over teenager death

Jahmal Mason-Blair was pronounced dead at the scene
Jahmal Mason-Blair was pronounced dead at the scene

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the murder of a promising young footballer in London.

Jahmal Mason-Blair, 17, from Dalston, east London, was found by police with a stab wound in his neck in a street in Hackney early on Saturday.

Friends of the teenager said he dreamed of being a professional footballer and was rarely seen without a ball.

Scotland Yard said the 13-year-old was arrested in east London at 2030 BST and was being held at a police station.

Jahmal, of Colvestone Crescent, was pronounced dead at the scene.

'Never made it'

A post-mortem examination concluded that the cause of death was a stab wound to the neck.

The teenager's half-brother Shaun Mason, 30, said Jahmal's father, Wesley Blair, collapsed when he heard of his son's death and was taken to hospital.

Mr Mason said their mother Tetela Rafeal lived in Florida and was making plans to fly back to the UK after her daughter broke the news.

"He (Jahmal) was meant to be coming to stay with his cousin... but he never made it," he said.

Remember we may have lost a friend, but Heaven has gained an angel
Shana Glover

Jahmal, who had been given a trial at Reading Football Club but was not offered a contract, is the ninth teenager to die in violent circumstances in London this year.

Following the attack, hundreds of people joined a Facebook group set up in memory of the teenager.

Tributes to Jahmal included one from friend Shana Glover, which read: "Remember we may have lost a friend, but Heaven has gained an angel. Will be forever missed."

Another friend, Ashleigh Willer, wrote: "I know football was your passion and it's a shame to know that you're not going to be able to pursue your career as a professional footballer, but in my eyes you were a professional from the beginning."

In 2008, 28 teenagers were killed in violent incidents in the capital.



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